„Lernen. Forschen. Machen.“


The Science Evening

Berlin Alexanderplatz Copyright: Berlin Partner / Wuestenhagen  

“The New Fiction of Good Science – in Need of a Paradigm Shift?!”

Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Berlin



Charlotte Tuschinski

Department 3.0 – Press and Communications


+49 241 80 93891



During its 150-year history, the University has not only demonstrated its strength in teaching, research, and innovation but also significantly contributed to the German higher education system. With such a wealth of experience under our belt, we decided to try switching roles – from player to critical observer – and question the future viability of universities.

An ideal opportunity to delve into this question is our event “The New Fiction of Good Science – in Need of a Paradigm Shift?!” held in Berlin on May 6, 2021. It was originally scheduled to take place on March 11, 2020, but had to be canceled due to the advancing spread of coronavirus.

Developments such as digitalization, industry 4.0, changes in the world of work, and many more have a decisive influence on what and how we will live and learn in the future. Society as a whole is being confronted with new demands and constant change – especially when it comes to the job market and research. The historically-evolved structures of the science system can hardly keep up with these challenges. Right now, the world cannot even foresee many of the professions and working models available in the future. What far-reaching changes are therefore needed in university teaching? How can we best prepare students today for the circumstances that await them in the future?

In short: What is “the new fiction of good science”? How can universities such as RWTH not only continue to exist for another 150 years but also make a relevant contribution to the wellbeing of society? Discussants of the Science Evening held in Berlin will analyze the question of the future of the “university” institution from various different angles, showcase best practices, and, above all, formulate visions that could become reality.

Global crises such as the coronavirus pandemic show that state-funded research, as well as worldwide networking among researchers, including a cooperative exchange with established representatives from industry and young entrepreneurs alike, are necessary in order to overcome the challenges that we, as a society, are currently facing. What can we now learn after this crisis – firstly, regarding the innovative capacity of universities and, secondly, regarding the robustness of science systems in international comparison?

RWTH and many other universities proved their high responsiveness to change and demonstrated their courage for rapid digitization by offering the 2020 summer semester completely online. It was clear that an international discussion on how to deal with crises is needed so that the science system can withstand not only the current pandemic but also possible further global challenges with (even) more far-reaching cuts.

Both Stiftung Mercator and Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V. are kindly supporting the event.
It is only possible to participate in the Science Evening upon personal invitation.


It is only possible to participate in the Science Evening upon personal invitation.

The patron of the event is the Minister President of North-Rhine Westphalia Armin Laschet.

  Logo of the State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia

In cooperation with:

  Logo of the publishing group Die Zeit